1 Jun 2004
By CHRIS HARRIS
FORD’S all-Australian Territory marked a new era in local vehicle manufacturing.
Very loosely based on the BA Falcon program, the SX Territory was designed and engineered to BMW X5 standards of dynamics and refinement.
‘Control Blade’ independent rear suspension, a new independent front end, and rear-wheel or all-wheel drive provided an SUV alternative to models such as the Falcon and Commodore wagons, and sales exceeded Ford’s expectations.
Part of the Territory’s appeal lay in its crisp European styling, outstandingly versatile cabin presentation and keen pricing – quickly sending the SUV to the top of the 4WD sales charts.
Only a single engine was offered in the SX series – essentially the same 4.0-litre variable-valve timing DOHC 24-valve in-line unit found in the BA, mated to a four-speed sequential-shift automatic gearbox.
Power and torque outputs were 182kW and 380Nm.
Even the base TX included dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electric windows and mirrors, remote central locking and a trip computer.
The sporty-focussed TS added safety like stability control, extra airbags and cruise control, while the luxury Ghia variants brought items like leather upholstery, powered front seats and fancier trim. All offered the AWD option.